Meet Professor Brent Stockwell of Columbia University. Professor Stockwell uses ScreenFlow to flip his Biochemistry classroom. The results have been impressive. His recipe, having the students prepare for class by watching a ScreenFlow he creates expounding on the new material, followed immediately by a short quiz to assess comprehension, seems particularly effective. We also really like the polling done in class (Professor Stockwell uses Socrative) that helps ensure students are following along.
Blended Learning in Biochemistry at Columbia University
Professor Stockwell recently received an award from the Provost at Columbia University to continue the redesign of his biochemistry course into a blended learning environment, which is described in a recent ASBMB Today article. This award was part of a university-wide initiative of the Provost and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning to transform education at Columbia University. Professor Stockwell has, over the last two years, implemented a number of pedagogical changes to improve science education in what is traditionally a large lecture and textbook-based course, in collaboration with Michael Cennamo from Columbia CCNMTL technology center. A video of his classroom showing some of the changes can be seen here.
There is no longer any textbook assigned for the course. Instead, Professor Stockwell records video lectures using ScreenFlow and posts them on the University’s learning management course website for students to watch prior to class. Students are also frequently assigned a primary research article in biochemistry to read prior to class to expose them to frontier topics in biochemistry. They take a homework quiz online before class to make sure they have understood the video and the research paper, so they can build upon this material in class.
Next year, Professor Stockwell is planning, as part of the award from the Provost, to address the problem of heterogeneity of background knowledge that students bring to the course. He plans to use ScreenFlow to create supplemental videos to teach foundational concepts that some students may lack.
Together, these changes have resulted in improved student performance and satisfaction, suggesting that the blended learning environment is more effective for large science courses.